New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is using his remaining game checks from this season to help start the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund.
The game checks are worth up to $5.3 million and will be donated to nonprofit charities and organizations and Black-owned businesses to help communities in New Orleans (up to $1.5 million), Indianapolis ($1 million) and the Los Angeles area (up to $1.5 million).
Another $1 million will go to Black-owned businesses in more than 10 cities across the U.S., while another $500,000 will go to institutions of higher learning, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).
“Honestly when it came down to it, it was me and my wife talking about what we could do to kind of further this movement and progression and being able to help out our community and just being able to help,” Jrue told ESPN. “We were just kind of sitting in the house, in the bed, thinking about it, and my wife said, ‘I think you should do this and you should do the rest of your salary.’ That’s a great idea. Because we want to make an impact. God has blessed us with so much. We know a couple of things that are important are time and money, and right now, we have both. To be able to give away our money to help further this movement and Black-owned businesses that have taken a hit in COVID-19, to us, it felt like the perfect time and opportunity.”
Jrue and Lauren picked New Orleans, Indianapolis and the Los Angeles area for the following reasons:
Jrue has played for the Pelicans for the past seven seasons and has gotten to know the community and education system quite well.
Lauren is from Indianapolis and Jrue’s brothers, Aaron and Justin, play for the Indiana Pacers.
The Holiday family is from the Los Angeles area and Jrue and Lauren met while in school at UCLA.
“I just feel like it’s the perfect opportunity to pick those three cities that mean a lot to us and try to better those cities,” Jrue said. … “It’s not just about the money for me and my family. That’s the important part. It’s not just about me. It’s not just about the money. I want people to see that. For us coming to Orlando and playing these games, giving away this money is what is important and trying to help others. Trying to support others during this hard time. Fortunately enough, we still have a job. We get paid very well to have this job. Me and wife felt like this was very important.”
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills recently did something similar, as he announced that he would be donating the rest of his over $1 million season salary to Black Lives Matter Australia.